The direction follows the recent murder of a sand extraction worker from Jharkhand.
On August 31, one sand extraction worker from Jharkhand was killed while another was critically injured in a firing incident at Curchorem in South Goa. Yusuf Alam, 23, and Mohammed Sahu, 33, were rushed to a health centre where the former was declared dead, while Sahu was shifted to Goa Medical College in a critical condition.
According to police, the firing took place when Alam, along with Sahu and another person, went into the river during night to allegedly extract sand using a wooden canoe. However, the third person had escaped unhurt in the firing.
Opposition parties had cornered the BJP government over the incident.
On Monday, the chief minister held a review meeting with senior officials in regards to sand mining and laterite queries in the state.
He issued instructions for strict vigil on illegal mining activities, including sand mining.
“Chief Minister Sawant has directed that necessary steps be taken to start sand mining through traditional extractors on an urgent basis. The Mines Department has been directed to process all the pending applications pertaining to minor minerals on priority,” his office informed.
“Mines department has also been directed to put in place a proper online transit pass system for transportation of sand or other minor minerals from neighbouring states,” it further said.
Though sand mining is banned in Goa, sources say that it is taking place at various spots during night time.